Maker Mind

Make the most of your mind

#036 | March 19th, 2020
Current mood: indoor self-care. Illustration by Jessica Boehman.

Let's talk.

Things have been moving fast this past week. Many of us are working from home, self-isolating, and acutely feeling the social distance. So we create memes, we jump on Zoom calls, we try to make ourselves helpful. (or we make silly predictions)

I have been working on building a community for you all since January, brainstorming the best ways to let you all connect together, so it's not a one-to-many channel but rather a place you can come to, have thoughtful conversations, and make friends.

So this week I'm very excited to launch the Ness Labs membership. It's not only a way to support my work, it's like getting a virtual gym membership for your mind.

Want to build a writing habit, learn how to draw, or get in the flow? Check out the exclusive deals on productivity and creativity apps. Want to grab a virtual coffee with a fellow member? Join Mind Match.

Ness Labs and the Maker Mind newsletter are inclusive. Weekly articles will stay free. This week, we will have a look at things to do when stuck at home, how to go on an information diet, and why the famous Marshmallow Test is BS and you can basically ignore it. Enjoy the read and hopefully see you in the members area!

Want to know about the latest trends before they become mainstream? Check out Exploding Topics for inspiration for blog posts, side projects, and more. Discover Exploding Topics »

Brain Food

30 things to do when stuck at home
There may be many reasons why you may be stuck at home. Bad weather, a sick kid, no transportation, temporarily unemployed, or… a global pandemic. Staying at home for an extended period of time can get anxiety-inducing and we soon start running out of ideas to keep ourselves busy and sane. I asked readers how they kept their sanity when stuck at home—here are a few suggestions for your inspiration.

How to go on an information diet
While it’s important to stay informed, too much information can become confusing, anxiety-inducing, and plain counter-productive. The same way you try to eat healthy to improve your physical health, going on an information diet is a way to control what you consume to take care of your mental health. It’s not the same as a digital detox, where the goal is to completely disconnect. Instead, it’s about designing your habits and shaping your environment so you consume information in a mindful way.

You can eat your mallow: debunking the marshmallow test
The Stanford marshmallow experiment is probably the most famous study in delayed gratification. In 1972, a group of kids was asked to make a simple choice: you can eat this marshmallow now, or wait 15 minutes and receive a second treat. Researchers found that children who showed higher levels of self-control during the marshmallow test tended to have higher SAT scores as teenagers. But there are many problems with these studies.

Brain candy

In brain waves, scientists see neurons juggle possible futures (Quanta)
“We’re only scratching the surface of understanding the fine timescale structure of cognition and imagination. It’s fun to think about.”

The great paradox of our time: everything is both better and worse than ever before (The Correspondent)
“Capitalism has made us wealthier, healthier, safer and more informed than ever. However, this driver of progress has begun to cause our demise. Yet there is always room for hope – that is the nature of humankind."

With the coronavirus, Hell is no other people (The New Yorker)
"The evidence that cutting down on crowds can slow the spread and flatten the curve of eventual infection is clear. But isolation comes at a real cost."

Brain trust

Join Ness Labs as a founding member to get the following perks:
  • Mind Match. Just fill this quick form and I'll hand-match you with a fellow member for a virtual coffee chat. Includes thoughtful conversation starters.
  • Learning club. Not a big fan of rigid, prescriptive book clubs? Try the learning club instead. Each month, one topic with suggested articles and podcasts, as well as a place to discuss the content and our in-real-life experiments. First topic announced next Monday.
  • Special offers, extra content, online events, members-only newsletter, and more... I'll keep on adding new opportunities to learn and connect, including a full-blown community platform next week (hit reply if you'd like to beta test). Join now :)

Until next week,
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